Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2017 2 Chronicles 15:7.

2 Chronicles 15:7.   Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.

And then it was Thursday; the Thursday of the Caribana weekend, or rather the Toronto Carnival Festival, or some such thing. That’s because the Caribana name is the legal possession of some other entity. But nonetheless, the ordinary populace will forever call it Caribana. 

So the city is gearing up for big crowds at the many events. Tonight is the King and Queen of the Bands Show. Tomorrow evening is the Pan Competition, the only event I intend to attend. And Saturday is the Parade down on the Lakeshore. 

I’m sorry but I’ve lost all interest in it. Firstly because the standards have fallen, it’s not as good as it was. And secondly my aching knees can’t handle the walking the Parade entails. So after thirty something years of religiously attending it, I haven’t been there for about three years now. 

And strangely it doesn’t bother me. Years ago, I would have been very upset if I missed the Caribana Parade, but no more. I guess as they say, after one time is two. 

And here is something to which we all can relate. It’s a Jewish Proverb that tells us: ‘From happiness to suffering is a step; from suffering to happiness is an eternity.’ 

And isn’t that the truth! Our happiness changes to suffering in the blink of an eye, but it always takes what seems like eternity for the suffering to return to happiness. 

But you know what friends, when we believe in Jesus Christ and consequently have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, it is possible to handle the suffering with dignity and some measure of self-control, and even grow through it all. That’s because we only grow in our Christian faith through adversity and tough times. 

But what was it Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H Schuller) always said ‘tough times don’t last, but tough people do.’ Glory to God! 

And if you’re a Christian then that means you’re tough, because there’s been nobody tougher than our Leader, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and that’s whom we are supposed to pattern ourselves after. 

Unfortunately though, too many supposed Christians have become soft and wishy-washy by the easy, comfortable lives we live in this too ungodly society. And we complain way too much over simple petty problems. A lot of others around the world would give their eye-teeth to have some of what we consider problems. 

That is why the warning words of Azariah is our Bit today: ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my fellow believers! If we stand strong in our work for Jesus, we will be faithfully rewarded by an ever-faithful God. Let’s look at a few examples of such a promise in the Good Book. 

And the first one comes from Psalm 31 – In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust. There Bruh David admonishes us thus! ‘O LOVE the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth (fully repays) the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.’ (Ps.31:23-24) 

What awesome words of encouragement my brethren! 

Now listen to Cousin Sol as he declares: ‘If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink. For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.’ (Prov.25:21-22) 

Now none of us in our natural human state will generally want to feed our enemy, but our Saviour commands us not to return evil for evil, but return good for evil, and doing that kind of stuff will eventually be well rewarded. 

And here is an interesting note from the scholars. ’25:22. Coals of fire does not refer to revenge or punishment but to the pangs of shame that will lead to reconciliation.’ 

But friends, I’d like to advise us not to wait for shame to show up in our enemies when we treat them good, because shame is something that no longer exists in this selfish, immoral and ungodly society of ours. 

Shame died when we took God out of our schools, government and homes. Look at all the blatant lying, stealing and deception that is so flagrant nowadays. At least, back then we had the shame to hide our wrongdoings, but now they have become the norm. 

But let’s go home filled with the assurance that our work here on earth will be well rewarded, proudly declaring our Thursday Blessings. With much chutzpah now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! 

I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Now we need to go out and share those blessings with others! Much LOVE!

…working sincerely for Jesus…will always bring good rewards…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2017 Psalm 73:28.

Psalm 73:28.   But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

And then it was Sunday: the first day of the week, where we slow down, take time to smell the roses and gather in the Lord’s sanctuary to offer Him our grateful praise and worship, and in return receive health, wealth and the ability to face the upcoming week with courage and confidence. 

Wow! What a mouthful! But a true mouthful! And all God’s people declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord for His wonderful goodness to the undeserving children of men!’ 

And on that glorious note, let’s offer up some sacrifice of our lips by sincerely belting out this favourite old hymn, ‘Just as I am.’ So in loud voice and sincere belief, let’s raise our voices to heaven. 

‘Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come! Just as I am, and waiting not To rid my soul of one dark blot; To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, though tossed about With many a conflict, many a doubt; Fightings within, and fears without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! 

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; Sight, riches, healing of the mind; Yes, all I need, in Thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, Thy love unknown Has broken every barrier down; Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!’ 

Yeh friends, it doesn’t matter what state we are in, our wonderful Saviour will accept us just we are. You know some places you have to clean up before they’ll accept you, but not with the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s looking for you at your worst possible state, because that’s one of the reasons he came to earth, to save the poor and needy, the sick and downtrodden. 

He is the ONLY One who declares that you can come to Him just as you are. And believe me, you won’t be wise if you don’t accept His wonderful invitation.  ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my brethren, every time I hear that beautiful piece of scripture, my heart just jumps for joy, knowing that I have such marvellous person to turn to in my troubles and times of need. All glory be to God for Jesus Christ! 

Anyway, before we get into our Bit, let me apologize for my typo yesterday. I don’t know how many of you noticed it, but instead of saying ‘you reap what you sow,’ I wrote ‘you sow what you reap.’ Technically speaking it’s the same thing, since you can only reap what you sow. (smile) 

And our Bit just reiterates the ideas we have declared in our hymn, and in the Great Invitation of Jesus.  ‘But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ 

Now why wouldn’t I put my trust in the Creator and Controller of the universe eh? Why would I put it in the foolish and deceitful rascal who tried to dethrone God and now aimlessly walks the earth backed by a façade of evil and deception, until the Lord is ready to immerse him in the lake of fire? I’m sorry friends, but as for me and mine, we’re rooting for Jesus! 

Now hear James, the half-brother of Christ, who like a lot of Christ’s family, did not believe until the end of His earthly ministry. Listen as James talks about worldliness and pride. ‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy (yearns jealously)? But he giveth more grace; Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 

Submit yourselves therefore to God: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:5-10) 

Oh my fellow believers, God gives us more grace than any of the world’s attractions or the lusts in our spirits, which means we can withstand both of them. 

And the scholars explain the last three verses thus: ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6. Resist the devil: do not submit to, fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet.5:8-10). Satan cannot lead (one) into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3:57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).’  

The only advice I can give after reading all of that friends, is to read those references given in the scholars note. I just did, and believe me they are invaluable, they just strengthen your spirit and help you to better understand the Lord’s word. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 June 2016 Matthew 24:4‏‏

Matthew 24:4.    And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Oh my people, the ole fella’s in somewhat rough shape this morning. Yesterday was pretty busy and then my allergies really acted up on me for the first time this year. Yes my young D, despite all my boasts to the contrary, they finally got to me. (smile) 

However, our good God is still on His heavenly throne running things, so I don’t have to worry, He will bring me around eventually. 

But in the meanwhile, listen to these words of wisdom from the wall of wisdom in my study. I have several quotes and poems etc. stuck to it, but the truth is I hardly ever notice them, though I pass them everyday. 

Anyway, here’s one I shared a long time back, and now seems to be a good time to share it again. And it simply says: ‘A man who is self-reliant, positive, optimistic, and undertakes his work with the assurance of success, magnetizes his condition. He draws to himself the creative powers of the universe.’ 

And that my friends is gospel truth! Whatever attitude we adopt, or outlook we embrace, that is what is going to prevail in our lives. So if we adopt a negative, unsure, can’t do attitude, generally speaking that will be the prevailing condition in our lives. 

However, when we embrace a strong, positive, optimistic outlook, then that is what usually prevails. And since we’re true believers in Christ, there’s only one outlook that’s possible for us; the positive, optimistic one, because that is what’s found, what prevails in Jesus. 

And remember, through Him, we can do anything, because He is the one who strengthens us, gives us the courage, the wherewithal to do His will. (Phil.4:13) 

Now let’s continue embracing that positive, optimistic outlook by declaring our Wednesday Wail with complete sincerity and plenty passion. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Ah mih breddren how good it is to wake and see another day; not see your name and/or picture in the obits! We need to be ever so thankful for God’s breath of life that keeps on flowing through us, day by day, because it means He still has important things for us to do down here on planet Earth. 

But we need to keep our hands to the plough and look straight ahead to the wonderful future Jesus has in store for us. Remember Jesus’ words: ‘No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’ (Luke 9:62) 

Therefore my fellow believers, once we’ve put our hands to the plough in the service of Jesus, we cannot afford to look back. Remember when Lot and his people, while fleeing from the devastation of Sodom and Gomorrah were told not to look back, but his wife disobeyed and she was turned into a pillar of salt? (Gen.19:26) We definitely don’t want that kind of negative thing happening to us. 

Now it’s time to turn to our Bit, the wise warning of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.’ 

Oh friends, unfortunately there is a lot of deception in our world today, and if we don’t constantly have our wits about us, we can be deceived very easily and very often. The amount of false hood and false teachers in our world today is truly amazing, but we believers, if we stand strong in Christ and together in fellowship as Christ’s body, the church, we will be able to defeat all falsehood that comes against us. 

Listen to Bruh Paul’s other warning to the Colossians. ‘Let no man beguile (defraud) you of your reward in a voluntary humility (by delighting in false humility) and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.’ (Col.2:18) 

Yeh friends, people come along everyday preaching all sorts of stuff, that’s why we need to be very careful in what or whom we allow into our lives. Hear some explanations from the scholars on that verse. 

‘2:18. Beguile you of your reward (or, “rob you of your prize”). The heretics, if their doctrine were accepted would rob the Colossians of their spiritual blessings. These false teachers displayed false humility and advocated a gospel of worshipping of angels, that is paying homage to angelic beings. Intruding into those things which he hath not seen: The heretics claimed to have witnessed numerous revelations and visions.’ 

Oh my people, contrary to what some of us might think, the enemy is very busy trying to break through our spiritual armour and lead us astray. But we need to be ever so strong and steadfast in Jesus in these very trying times, so that we don’t lose our spiritual blessings. 

We need to continue building ourselves up in Christ-like fashion, becoming more mature in His image everyday, through prayer, fasting, reading and meditating on His Word and being in strong fellowship with other believers, while constantly wearing our spiritual armour. 

Yes precious people, in these end times, as Jesus warned, the enemy is all around us, desperately trying to defraud and deceive us into doing wrong. 

Please, let’s stand strong and steadfast in Jesus name and keep on building His LOVE Revolution, despite the enemy’s best efforts to lead us astray. That is indeed wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…believers need to keep pressing on in Jesus…using all the tools He’s provided…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 November 2014 Psalm 4:1.

Psalm 4:1.  Hear me when I call , O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.

And then it was Saturday…time for sleeping in late and all that good stuff! Chuh! Some of us just don’t have time for such luxuries nuh, we have to be up and about God’s business. (smile)  But our wonderful God rewards us in other ways, so we really can’t complain.

And talking about complaining, I believe that’s one of the serious problems in our society. We have been so spoiled by God’s goodness and mercy over the years, that now things have become somewhat rough, our pampered bodies and souls can’t handle it, and we end up complaining about small, petty things which makes us sound like spoiled brats.
 
The petty things that we complain about, 80 % of the world would gladly take, as opposed to the real serious problems they have. The technological and communications revolutions haven’t helped matters either, making us ever more in need for speed and dependent on them, so that when they fail, or break down, as man made things are wont to do, we get very testy and impatient.
 
Impatience is another one of the great flaws of our Western society, and we exemplify it even in our prayers to Almighty God. But God knows what we need and what we want, and gives it to us at the right time, if He sees fit.
 
But many of us turn away from God because of the foolish reasoning that we prayed, waited – possibly for a couple of hours or days – and didn’t receive what we prayed for, be it legitimate or fanciful, and then decide that God either doesn’t exist or doesn’t truly answer prayer.
 
But Friends, I’m here to tell us that that’s just another one of the enemy’s cruel deceptions. Our God is alive and on His throne, in control of everything! And He does hear and answer prayer – sincere ones that is, those which come from a heart with pure and sincere motives.
 
And our Bit aptly demonstrates that, as Bruh David cries out to the God of his fathers. ‘Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.’  
 
Obviously the Lord had heard his prayer of distress sometime before and had helped him out of it. That only boosted Bruh David’s faith, as it should ours, when God faithfully answers our sincere prayers.
 
And once again we’ll proclaim that the greatest example of the need for prayer comes from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Yesterday we highlighted a scripture passage which showed His prayerfulness (Luke 6:12).
 
Today we’ll highlight another one. The Good Book tells us: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35)
 
And since that comes from God’s Word, my brethren, that means it’s gospel truth! So, as we also said yesterday, if Jesus felt the need for prayer, why should we, mere mortals, not feel it too eh? We’re just too full of foolish pride and stubborn, rebellious ego, thinking that we’re so great, when all we are is a collection of fallible flesh and bones, which eventually returns to the dust from which it was formed.
 
Anyway, let’s look at some more scriptures which highlight the importance of prayer. Listen to the wisdom of Cousin Sol. ‘The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.’ (Prov.15:8)
 
And the scholars say of that: ’15:8. The best that the wicked can offer God religiously is completely rejected.’ For good reason too!
 
Meanwhile, in Acts, after the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on ALL believers, and the Christian communal community was growing at a fast rate, the apostles decided that they had more important things to do than running around doing pantry duty. (smile)
 
‘It is not reason (desirable) that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore brethren, look (seek) ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.’ (Acts 6:2-4) And that’s when Stephen was chosen.
 
And then, as today’s last example, there’s Bruh Paul, who, in his usual zealous fervour, tells the Philippians: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (graciousness, reasonableness) be known to all men. The Lord is at hand (His coming is imminent).
 
Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:4-7)
 
Yes my people, there’s no greater service that we can perform than prayer…with some thanksgiving too!
 
So let’s take that wonderful advice of Bruh Paul’s to heart nuh, and thus reform and/or reinvigorate our prayer lives, and consequently the lives of all those around us. That’s the wisdom of God, my fellow believers! Much LOVE!
 
…when we pray…we communicate with our heavenly Father…the One who created us…and who controls our life strings…and without whom we can’t do anything substantial…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 December 2013 Proverbs 10:22

Proverbs 10:22.    The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, today’s another red-letter day in the ole fella’s life; my 42nd wedding anniversary! Wow!
 
Who would ever have thought that we’d last so long eh, especially with all the topsy-turvy stuff that went on in the earlier days, most of it my fault? And though there have been a couple of short separations, it’s obvious that the Good Lord had other plans for us.
 
Now it wasn’t always easy, always peaches and cream, but you can bet your bottom dollar that it was interesting! More interesting now with 20-20-vision hindsight, than it felt during the actual moments. (smile)
 
That brings me to what I consider one of the many failings of our society. We impress upon our young people the fairy tale about LOVE, marriage and living happily ever after. But Friends, as most of us have seen and and sadly discovered, that’s just a myth!
 
We should be telling them more about the practicalities, the three-ring circus that’s truly marriage; the engagement ring, the wedding and then the suffering.
 
It’s no joke Friends, because living in such close proximity to another person, seeing their faults and foibles, many of which you never knew about before, and waking up everyday on the other side of the bed with that person for numerous years is not an easy task, certainly not one for the fainthearted. But if you’re in the marriage for more than just the good times, you will persevere and make it work.
 
And remember too, that it takes two to tango, so unless both parties are willing to work at it, then it will never last. But now, unfortunately, we’ve raised a generation of children who can’t handle hardships or differences, because even in our own marriages, we’ve gone out of our way to hide the unpleasant parts from the children.
 
Consequently, there are more divorces and separations than ever today, simply because the young generation lack the proper advice on the subject, as well as the necessary backbone and belly to see it through. So as soon as something goes wrong, everybody wants to bail out of the marriage.
 
But please remember the words that most of us said in our wedding vows; for better or worse, until death do us part. However we never seem to remember those words when things get rough, and very few of us really live them.
 
Unfortunately too, there is no marriage primer available that will work for all marriages, because we are all different and live under different circumstances. The only constant Friends, is that both people need to work at it sincerely, otherwise it’s doomed from the beginning.
 
Ah mih people, as usual I have to chuckle, because our God is truly something else yes! I wasn’t even planning to mention my wedding anniversary, but obviously He had other plans, and when I got to writing, that’s what flowed from my pen.
 
But if it will help some other couple to understand what marriage is all about; give and take and hard work, and cause them to stand strong and work out their problems together, then it will indeed have served some useful purpose.
 
That’s why our Bit is powerful and true. ‘The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.’
 
It would certainly be great if the Lord could use my words to bless some couple having problems with their marriage, which brings us to the Old Testament marriage of Isaac and Rebekah.
 
One time when there was famine in their land, Isaac thought of going down to Egypt to survive it, but the Lord told him to stay put in Gerar, in the land of the Philistines.
 
‘Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father…. Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.’ (Gen.26:3,5)
 
And Isaac obeyed, but like Abraham did with Sarah, he told the Philistines that Rebekah was his sister, because she was beautiful, and like his father before him, thought that they would kill him and take her away. Hn! Like father, like son!
 
Ah Friends, the webs we weave, when we intend to deceive! But unfortunately those webs of deceit don’t last forever, and our deeds done in darkness, usually come to light at some stage. And the longer they stay hidden, usually the more destructive they are when revealed in the light.
 
And that’s exactly what happened to Isaac. The Good Book puts it thus: ‘And it came to pass, when he (Isaac) had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with (caressing) Rebekah his wife.’ (Gen.26:9)
 
Obviously it caused a furor in the Philistine camp. The king called Isaac and blasted him, and instructed his people not to dally with Rebekah. (Gen.26:9-11) But in spite of his deception my brethren, listen to the next words of the Good Book.
 
‘Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received (reaped) in the same year a hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him. And the man waxed (grew) great, and went forward (continued prospering until) he became very great.’ (Gen.26:12-13)
 
That was the blessing of the Lord upon him for obeying his directive to not go down to Egypt, despite his deception with the Philistines.
 
Now Friends, that doesn’t mean we can all be deceitful and still receive wonderful blessings, for even Isaac with all his material blessings still found it hard to live in Gerar because of disputes over wells with the Philistines, and eventually had to move away because he had gotten too big and powerful for their liking. (Gen.26:14-25)
 
And we’ll end with these thoughts from the scholars, which should make some things clearer. ’26:1-16. A famine in the land: There had been a famine in Abraham’s day (12:10). He had not been forbidden to go down to Egypt as Isaac was now being directed by God in verse 2.
 
God forced Isaac to trust in His ability to provide, and not do the natural thing that everybody else would be doing (42:5). Besides, this was God’s promised land for Abraham and his descendants (vv 3-4). She is my sister is the very same expression Abraham had used, 12:13 and 20:12-13.
 
Abimelech was evidently a Philistine dynastic title. This was not the same Abimelech that Abraham had encountered some 97 years earlier. Isaac sowed in the land and received an hundredfold in spite of the famine and persecution because he obeyed God and was the promised seed.’ 
 
Awright Friends, that’s more than enough for us to ponder on today. But please remember that Isaac was only blessed because He obeyed God, and he still had his problems otherwise. So even when we’re blessed, everything is not always peaches and cream. (smile) Much LOVE!
 
…the best wisdom for all time…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…  (Uncle Charles – Charles Stanley)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 November 2013 Psalm 38:1

Psalm 38:1.    O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, it’s a chilly Sunday morning in the last week of November and there’s snow on the ground. Chuh, Steups! (smile) Granted, it’s not much snow, but snow is snow, especially when winter is not officially due for another month. But this is also Canada, and in these times of climate change anything can happen. Let’s hope that this winter season isn’t too bad.
 
And strangely enough, this morning the Lord led me to Psalm 38, the prayer of a penitent heart, written by Bruh David to remind him of his troubles, how he needs to respond to them, and where he needs to go to get help.
 
Our Bit opens the psalm with an earnest, heartfelt petition: ‘O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.’
 
Bruh David must have been in a real quandary, as he penitently continues: ‘For thine arrows stick fast in me (pierce me deeply), and thy hand presseth me sore (down). There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest (health; lit. peace) in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities have gone over my head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
 
My wounds stink (are foul and festering) and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease (inflammation): and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore (severely) broken: I have roared (groaned) by reason of the disquietness of (turmoil in) my heart.’ (Ps.38:2-8)
 
Mama Mia! Bruh David must have been in a real sad state friends. But before we continue, here are some interesting notes from the scholars.
 
‘Psalm 38. Some debate as to whether the details of verses 1-8 should be taken literally, and thus as a reference to a physical illness, or figuratively, making them a vivid picture of psychological and moral distress. The detail and length of the description, as well as its personal nature seem to point to some serious disease from which David is suffering as he writes.’
 
Yeh Friends, whether Bruh David’s words were literal or figurative, there’s no doubt that he’s certainly between a rock and a hard place, as he continues his plaintive cry. ‘Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning (sighing) is not hid from thee. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it is also gone from me.’ (Ps.38:9-10)
 
Ah mih people, when the warrior king of Israel, that great man of God is brought to such low levels, then something must be truly wrong in his life. And we get some idea of the other ramifications in the next couple verses.
 
‘My lovers (loved ones) and my friends stand aloof from my sore (my plague); and my kinsmen (neighbours) stand afar off. They also that seek after my life lay snares for me; and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things (of destruction), and imagine deceits (plan deception) all the day long.’ (Ps.38:11-12)
 
Yeh mih breddren, desertion by friends and family, and serious threats from one’s enemies can bring us to a rather low and depressed state, especially if we already have other personal problems. However Friends, please note carefully Bruh David’s actions in these next verses.
 
‘But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. Thus I was a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs (responses).’ (Ps.38:13-14)
 
Bruh David didn’t answer his accusers, or plead with his supposed friends and family, but kept his mouth shut, so that there could be no further accusations against him. That’s one of the many times when silence is truly golden. And that’s what many of us have to learn to do when false accusers and unworthy friends and family betray us.
 
Too often though, we get all hot and bothered and angrily try to defend ourselves or retaliate, through words or actions. But usually the smartest thing is to keep quiet, since making important decisions when we’re angry or upset just make matters worse. First we need to ponder the situation, to see if there’s any truth in it, then follow Bruh David’s action, turn to God for succour.
 
‘For in thee O Lord, do I hope: thou wilt hear (answer), O Lord my God. For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me. For I am ready to halt (fall), and my sorrow is continually before me.
 
For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for (in anguish over) my sin. But mine enemies are lively (vigorous), and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.’ (Ps.38:15-20)
 
Ah my fellow believers, that is the only wise and sensible way when we’re dealing with overwhelming problems, in fact with any problems at all. We need to get ourselves quiet, then go to God, FIRST, not last as we tend to do. And then we need to unburden our very hearts and souls to him, truly confessing all that we’re aware of, for In Him, there is sure hope and comfort from all our earthly problems.
 
As Bruh David concludes: ‘Forsake me not, O Lord: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.’ (Ps.38:21-22)
 
And Jesus made that very clear when He invited us to ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30)
 
Oh my people, what a wonderful God we serve! It just boggles my mind to think how much He cares for and looks after us, despite our sinful, unfaithful nature.
 
So please, let’s be grateful for His tender mercies and give Him much thanks and praise, today and everyday that we’re alive, for that’s wisdom of the highest magnitude. Much LOVE!
 
…why do we keep turning to fallible, unreliable man for help with our problems…when we have an infallible, exceedingly reliable God to turn to eh…
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2013 John 3:27

John 3:27.    John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
 
Well hello there all my hardworking Friends! I have some good news to share – it’s Friday! And all my hardworking Friends shouted as one: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Slavery finish for another week! It’s time to party now!’
 
No, no, no! Not so fast mih people! The weekend is not just a party time, it’s also, and even more importantly, a time of rest and renewal, so that we can begin the workweek fresh as a daisy, and go about glorifying God with plenty vim and vigour. So let’s chant our Friday Chant, which brings the purpose of the weekend into its true perspective.
 
All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Sweet chanting mih breddren! But that’s how we’re supposed to use the weekend. Remember we’re in the process of changing our weekend perspective, from being grumpy, tired and miserable on Mondays, to becoming eager, bright-eyed and bushy tailed instead, so that we can be more powerful and fruitful during the week.
 
And the ONLY way to do that is to make it a habit to get sufficient rest, relaxation and fellowship with other believers, during those two days. So let’s forget this total partying weekend nonsense! If we truly want to do God’s work, then we need to have some semblance of balance in our lives.
 
And I surely hope that every week the message will fall on fewer and fewer deaf ears, until all God’s people joyfully accept that godly principle. Wow! What a leap of faith! But that’s what it is all about my brethren. Anyway, enough of my preaching, for I’m not a preacher, but more of a teacher. (smile)
 
Time to get to our Bit, which again comes from John’s conversation with his disciples, re Christ’s ministry increasing and his decreasing. ‘John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.’
 
Yeh Friends, that’s a truth we cannot dispute, for the Creator of the universe and all therein, also controls all that happens in His dominion. Anything we receive, He either specifically gives it to us, or allows someone else to do so. For NOTHING happens in this great wide world without His knowledge and approval, or disapproval.
 
Now let’s take a look at some more scriptures which support these facts. And we’ll start with the words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth, re the authority of the apostles.
 
‘And in these things brethren, I have in a figure (figuratively) transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up (proud) for one against another. For who maketh thee to differ from another (who distinguishes you)? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? (1 Cor.4:6-7)
 
And here’s a note from the scholars, re verse 6. ‘Not to think…above that which is written is a proverbial expression. Paul is telling the Corinthians not go beyond Scripture. In other words, learn to live by the Book, and stop following men.’
 
Oh my people, those words are so appropriate today it’s not funny. For the majority of us are unfortunately still too caught up in the things of the world, and following what rebellious, ungodly man, in cahoots with Beelzebub, tells us we ought to do and follow. But it’s all a lie, a gross deception, my brethren!
 
Our guidelines and principles ought to conform to the Good Book, not Lucifer’s evil deceptions. I’ll leave that topic alone for now though, because I wisely realize that I can talk till I’m exhausted, blue in the face, yet too many of us will still hunger, yearn for, and run after the glitzy, glossy, but useless material things of the world, plus power and celebrity status. 
 
So getting back to our scriptures, let’s check in on James, where on the topics of faith and humility, he writes: ‘Do not err (be deceived), my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:16-18)
 
And some notes from the scholars will help us to better understand those verses. ‘1:17. Three great principles are presented: (1) God is the Father, or Creator, of the heavenly bodies. (2) As their Creator, He is certainly more stable than they. With God there is not even the slightest change; He is immutable. (3) God is only good – and always good.
 
This third principle relates verse 17 to the preceding context. It answers the implication of verse 13 that God may sometimes tempt man to evil. Though God tries the saints (John 6:6; Heb.11:17), He never tries with evil intent so as to tempt them.
 
1:18. All the redeemed are God’s firstfruits in that they are the first step in God’s redemption of all creation. (Rom.8:18-23).’
 
Now Friends, please check out those references, for they are very beneficial in our understanding the Word. And we’ll end with this important and encouraging message on being good stewards of God’s grace, from the Rock – Petros, Peter. (smile)
 
‘As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (utterances) of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.4:10-11)
 
And all God’s people, loudly and gratefully declared: ‘Thank You Lord for all the gifts You’ve so graciously bestowed on us. We LOVE You, and pray that You’ll help us use them to the best of our ability, to enlarge Your righteous kingdom and glorify Your Holy Name. On the shed blood of Jesus we pray. Amen.’
 
Now my fellow believers, please, let’s go out and sincerely try to do all that we’ve spoken of today, for it will only further endear us to Jesus and the Father. Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  

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